Micro-Project 2: Crowd-Sourced Art

Crowd-sourced art is about a collaborative process which focus on inclusivity of the artist and outsourcing its formation to willing participants using networked communication to create an artwork. The artist creates an intent and the starting point with setting a task and a series of instructions, followed by the participants’ contribution and approach to the project which will be the final product of the artwork. It revolves around the concept of (DIWO: Do-It-With-Others) which was taught in the previous class. 

An interesting research regarding crowd-sourced art which shows the scale of how much control the creator of the project are willing to allow the participants to take control in creating the final outcome of the artwork. Source: https://amt-lab.org/blog/2018/7/crowdsourced-digital-art-projects-centralization-and-agency 

My team members are Alicia Ng and Brian Chong. 



Our crowd-sourced community was targeted at our contact list on WhatsApp messenger, an instant messaging platform that allows electronic devices to exchange text, image, video, audio messages and location of the users. We decided to choose WhatsApp because it allows our participants to have different ways to respond and we can approach our participants in a group chat or a personal chat setting. 


This collective artwork garners contribution from our willing participants on WhatsApp to provide a photo response to the respective questions;

“What makes you happy? It can be anything.”

“What makes you wanna kill yourself?”

The objective of our artwork is to gather an image representation of what makes them happy or what makes them wanna kill themselves without any text. The goal intended is to create a collage of the two notion of happiness and sadness with the contribution of the participants thus, showcasing the final two collage to the audience who will be viewing and guessing the overall sentiment of each collage. Hence, the social interaction involves the creators’ intent, participant’s response and the audience’s opinion about the artwork.


First layer of interaction between the creators and the participants is sending out the task and instructions for them to respond to. Second layer of interaction is the participants have a choice to respond and participate or just ignore


The participants had questions and different interpretation of the instructions given so they had to clarify what must they do in order to respond to my question. All these questioning made us realised a few ways to improve and make our instructions clearer for majority of the audience to understand easily.


We realised there were different response and reaction when the instructions were being sent out to the individual personally and in a group chat setting

Personal Chat

The attitude of the participants who were being approached in a personal chat tend to be more expressive and put in a lot of thought before answering the questions. It wasn’t necessary to explain the meaning behind those photos they’ve sent but they were genuine about expressing their thoughts

Group Chat

The responses received from a group setting tend to be a bit more humorous and silly. It takes just the one person to set the tone of the conversation to be serious or humorous. In addition, being in a group chat, your response tend to be build upon the previous reply thus, influencing conformity


The final collage of the two notions of happiness and sadness were presented to our class, creating a third layer of interaction. Without any text and just images collected from our participants, we made the audience guess the overall sentiment of the collage. Despite the participants not being physically there, their contribution added value and completed the project with the intent that we had as our end goal. We as creators, were curious too about the final outcome of the collage as the participant’s contribution is unpredictable which spark our sense of curiousity and engagement.

Personally, I felt it was a success because the audience were able to relate to the sentiments of the photos in the collage. Despite not putting restrictions to our participant’s contribution of their representation of these emotions, the audience managed to interpret the notions of happiness and sadness.


  • There were different responses despite setting a task and instructions given which is just a photo to answer the questions asked. However, due to different interpretation of the participants of the task at hand, despite disrupting the overall approach of the concept, it gives a creative outlook of the crowdsourced artwork, making it more unique with a sense of depth. Personally, I just think it’s human nature to rebel against the task given to stand out more or being able to feel a sense of control unconsciously in whatever we partake in.
  • To my surprise, majority of the participants did not ask the purpose behind those questions and answered without questioning due to the factors such as the closeness of our relationship and trust. However, some were curious about their involvement and wanting to see the overall outcome of the crowd-sourced project. Some of the participants were particular about their privacy and anonymity, hence, wanting us to crop out some of the details.
  • We expected the interaction to stop after most of the participants made contribution to the project, however, it enables a conversation in the group chat to be active again, discussing about our well-being at the moment and wanting to meet up. Hence, it shows that certain conversation can be built upon our previous responses and interaction. “It just takes one person to start a movement.”
  • “People have different persona in all spaces”. The responses might differ according to the setting of the environment hence, affecting the authenticity of the contribution which leads back to the intent of the creators.


How is your crowd-sourced project different from one that is created by a single artist/creator?

Our crowd-sourced project starts off with an intent and approach to the whole concept which is versatile. We tried not give a lot of restrictions so the participants have the freedom to express themselves. Our end goal is unpredictable and changes every time we receive a response from the participants, so there was no definite outcome to the whole artwork. Every contribution adds value to the whole collage hence, it is dynamic process of a doing crowd-sourced art. Majority of the control of the direction and outcome of the artwork is depended on the participants which is determined by the layout and perimeters are formed by the creators on the platform.

A single artist/creator usually have an end goal to the whole process but not necessarily. However, the process of doing the artwork won’t be so dynamic as there isn’t a crowd to control the direction of the artwork freely. Hence, the process of the artwork is not as ever-changing and the end goal is most likely predictable since the creator have the upper hand of the overall work.


Inspiration for our crowd-sourced artwork: Sketch Aquarium

Art Science Museum – Sketch Aquarium

The Art Science Museum created an interactive augmented reality platform which is an aquarium where visitors are allowed to create their own version of animals by drawing from their imagination that can be scanned and transform from 2D piece into a movable 3D piece which will be placed into this AR platform. The objective is to ignite the visitor’s creative spark and create a collage of all the unique contribution of the visitors into this AR ecosystem that is enhanced with subtle background music and LED lights projected onto a screen. Each artwork is unique individually and all of the contribution of the visitors creates a beautiful ecosystem with a variety of species and colours.

Hence, giving the participants the freedom to contribute to the outcome of the artwork can be unpredictable and dynamic as an end goal. However, it’s one of the unique yet challenging feature of doing a crowd-sourced artwork as a creator or project initiator.

Micro-Project 1: Creating the Third Space

Why did you choose this space or object to photograph?

The significance of this location is a place of escapism from the chaos in class. The blur in the photo was accidental but it really depicts how I feel whenever I’m trying to take a breather from the stress and pressure, to relax and calm down. Personally, exiting the school compound during breaks is a temporary relief to reset my stress level back to 20% and building up my motivation to end the day well.


The toilet cubicle has a special significance to me as it’s one of places where I seek refuge to show my vulnerability. It’s a communal place yet private and intimate to me. Despite being constraint in a small space, I feel safe because nobody will be able to look at me. Being guarded by three vertical dividers allows me to let down my guards and be my true self. The interaction from the viewers tells me that different people have different sentiments attached to the space. Some disagreed that it is not a safe place and some got reminded of a memory attached to this space. Hence, factors such as memories, proximity of the space and notions might influence your emotional attachment to the place.


I’ve decided to photograph ‘Pepe the Frog’ poster on a locker because it brings back memories during the finals week in Semester 1. It evokes a sense of familiarity as I recalled the emotions I’ve felt during that period by looking at this expression of the frog. Tired and drained out. The fact that it’s being pasted on a locker that is safeguarded by a lock reminds me of how I have to put away all the unnecessary distractions in life to focus on my school work. Good times…


I’ve chosen this photograph focusing mainly on the concept of how a vending machine works. It serves as a reminder to my work ethics and mindset in life. “different input, different outcome” is the caption I’ve chosen because I’ve observed that there’s multiple ways to get our goals and we have the choice to decide how we are going to get to the end point. There’s no right or wrong way, especially, in the design industry. For example, there are coins that will add up to $1.50 to get the orange juice that we want and we can also put more than the amount needed and the machine will return back the change. Reminding me that different situations have different approaches such as ‘Less is More’, ‘Just enough’ or ‘More than what is expected’ to achieve the end goal that we want so, it’s essential to plan. Everyone’s goal is different and the amount of effort we put it varies too. Hence, this is a reminder that I should be grateful to have the freedom to choose what I want to be and make full use of my opportunities.


What are some of the characteristics of this alternative virtual space you had created collectively?

  • It shows individuality of each creator’s approach to the direction given to us about significant places in ADM. As a whole, it resonate strong sentiments about one’s significant place in ADM influenced by their memories, emotions or experiences attached to the space.
  • There’s added value whenever there’s new content being posted by the participants contributing to this platform.
  • Public sharing platform where anyone with an Instagram can view the content gathered and created by #1010adm or even add their own creations with no restrictions regarding quality and quantity of the photographs. Personally, I realised it spiked people’s interest and curiosity during the first week of school because the hashtag was going around on social media due to the exposure, connectivity and engagement of the ADM students with our peers online.
  • The ability and power to edit the space according to our representation of the actual space in ADM that we want to showcase. For example, adding filters or cropping certain part of the original photo to focus on the main idea/object, manipulating and evoking a certain reaction or emotion that we have in mind from the viewers. Hence, we have the freedom to curate and approach the topic of this project in multiple ways onto this alternative virtual space.


Under what circumstance will this alternative virtual space change?

It will change in terms of the value whenever there’s new content being posted by the participants contributing to #1010adm platform. The interaction of the viewers with the post will change the space with their comments, being able to relate with the post based on their sentiments or experience of the shared space and the popularity of the post considering the amount of people who will be able to view it due to the creator’s following and influence on the platform. Hence, despite the platform being on a limitless and vast virtual space, there will be changes and added value due to the interactivity of this platform until there’s no more viewers or participants going to the #1010adm platform.

As #1010adm is a virtual space being hosted on Instagram, there will be changes if the hashtag or certain content is being removed due to violating the guidelines of the platform.


How does this project relate to what we discussed in the lecture regarding co-creation. In the concept of Do-It-Yourself (DIY), Do-It-With-Others (DIWO)?

Despite doing the in-class assignment alone (DIY), the #1010adm project focuses on collaborative art which brings content from different creators onto the same platform instantaneously (DIWO). This project is a different approach of (DIWO) collaboration on a social media platform without having to communicate physically with one another but we are interconnected virtually. Being able to engage people to view the content under the same virtual platform and it brings exposure as a collective. It showcase a variety of works and viewers can find something that they can relate to or express their agreement or disagreement. This project relates to DIWO and co-creation because without a platform to gather all these content and interaction, all these thoughts and works are kept to oneself and it wouldn’t be as dynamic as a combination of each creator’s individuality and style which adds value to the whole collaborative project.

Similarly to Yoko Ono, Cutpiece (1964), The interactivity between Yoko Ono, participants and the viewers will lead to the end product of the whole performance art (DIWO). Factors such as the reaction from the viewers, participant’s decision to cut the amount of cloth from Yoko Ono’s clothing and her tolerance towards the whole performance art as she has a choice to stop or continue, will affect the whole end product. Thus, the outcome is unpredictable and ever-changing.